A 150-metre long underground tunnel suspected to be used by four Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists for infiltration from Pakistan was detected by the BSF at the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district on Sunday, state police chief Dilbag Singh said.
Mr Singh, who along senior Border Security Force (BSF) official NS Jamwal and senior police official Mukesh Singh inspected the scene near Regal post, said the tunnel was unearthed following investigation into the recent encounter near Nagrota on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
The four Kashmir-bound Pakistani terrorists were killed in a gunfight when the truck in which they were travelling was stopped for checking at Ban toll plaza on the highway on Thursday.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition including 11 AK assault rifles, three pistols, 29 grenades and six UBGL grenades were recovered from the possession of the terrorists, who had come to execute a “big plan” to disrupt the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) polls, police said.
“Police shared some vital inputs found from the encounter scene with the BSF which after hectic efforts, managed to find the tunnel,” the Director General of Police (DGP) told reporters.
Mr Jamwal termed the anti-tunnelling operation as a “major success” and said that a strong protest will be lodged with Pakistan.
He gave full credit to the personnel of the force for their commitment, dedication and motivation to search the area full of wild growth.
“The tunnel, which is 2.5 metre wide and 25 to 30 metre deep was constructed with proper engineering effort to ensure that it is not detected as its opening was found surrounded with sarkanda (elephant grass),” Mr Jamwal said.
He also praised the cooperation and regular inflow of information from police and intelligence agencies, leading to the early detection of the tunnel.
This was the second tunnel detected by the BSF along the IB in Samba in the last three months. In August, the border guarding force found a tunnel near the border fencing in the Galar area.
The BSF carried out the massive anti-tunnelling operation after it came to light that the four JeM terrorists had infiltrated through the Samba sector before being eliminated in Nagrota.
“This was a new tunnel dug out from Pakistan after the older one was unearthed by BSF (in Samba). After the successful operation in Nagrota, the question was how did the JeM group managed to infiltrate into this side from Pakistan, reached the national highway and boarded the Kashmir bound truck,” the DGP said.
He said the terrorists were carrying 14 weapons and a large quantity of explosive material including RDX. The police got some evidence and shared the inputs with the BSF which finally led to the detection of the tunnel.